Last year, Bristolian comic James Dowdeswell looked at our nation’s favourite pastime in Wine, Ale and I. This year, he’s less focused on what you’re drinking, and more on where you’re drinking, in new show James Dowdeswell’s Perfect Pub. A famous literary type once mused on the same subject, so we asked…
Have you been reading Orwell?
George Orwell wrote an essay about The Perfect Pub in 1946 and his ten point plan still holds true today. [“A cut off the joint, two vegetables and boiled jam roll—for about three shillings” – sounds good to me! – ed.]
Didn’t Orwell also inspire Wetherspoons – not a good thing surely?
The name of Orwell’s fictitious pub is The Moon Under Water. Wetherspoons opened 14 in that name. To be fair, the philosophy behind Wetherspoons – good cheap food and beer, no music and a good atmosphere hold true to Orwell’s ideal, but unfortunately also appeals to some ne’er do wells.
How will this show come up with the perfect pub?
I will take suggestions from the audience and pick the best and embrace the weird. Previews included suggestions as wide-ranging as a secret passageway from house to pub, bouncy castles, and a glory hole.
What are your qualifications for leading this quest?
I grew up in a West Country pub. Worked as a barman, a brewer and a cider maker. To be fair I’m from the West Country, it’s like National Service for us.
I like a bottle of Aldi Chardonnay in front of the telly. What would you say to get me out of the house to go to the pub?
“Your house is on fire!”
What’s your real life favourite pub and what are you drinking?
In the West Country, my family pub, The Anchor, and I’ll be on the Butcombe. (Just the one t)
In London – any Antic pub. I’m really into the Brockley Brewery. Either their Golden Ale or Pale Ale.
In Edinburgh – the Halfway House. Beers are always revolving and I’ll drink what I’m recommended.